Employee resignations, declined job offers linked to vaccination mandate, UNC Health says

About 60 employees have resigned from their jobs at UNC Health, citing the Chapel Hill, N.C.-based system's vaccination requirement, system spokesperson Alan Wolf confirmed to Becker's.

About 35 candidates also have declined job offers because of the vaccination policy, Mr. Wolf said. That's out of the hundreds UNC Health has hired.

"We take this vaccine requirement very seriously, and did not approve it lightly," said Mr. Wolf. "UNC Health is grateful for the hard work and sacrifices of our health workers during the pandemic. We would rather avoid losing any employees. However, we believe that requiring vaccines is in the best interest of public health and is essential for the safety of our patients, teammates and communities. This vaccine requirement is designed to provide a critical layer of protection for everyone."

UNC Health announced July 22 that it would require employees at UNC Medical Center, UNC Rex Healthcare, Chatham Hospital, Johnston Health, UNC Health Southeastern, UNC Rockingham Health Care, UNC Physicians Network Practices and UNC Health Shared Services locations to get vaccinated. The deadline for employees was Sept. 21. However, the health system on Sept. 20 pushed that deadline back to Nov. 2, according to news station WRAL. This means unvaccinated workers have six weeks to get vaccinated or face termination. 

As of Sept. 21, UNC Health had confirmed vaccination status or granted exemptions for 95 percent of employees. It was still working to confirm the status of about 1,100 employees.

"We are confident we will get the vast majority of our teammates vaccinated," Mr. Wolf said. "We want to keep everyone employed who wants to stay with UNC Health, and are working hard to accommodate employees with medical and religious concerns. We've approved about 1,100 exemptions for medical or religious reasons."

UNC Health, which has about 30,000 employees, is among several U.S. health systems that have seen workers leave because of vaccination mandates. 

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